How To Fake a War
Jay Pharaoh in How to Sell a War © Film and Music Entertainment (IRE)

#IrishFilm: Principal photography wraps on Rudolph Herzog’s How to Sell a War

How to Sell a War – the fiction feature film debut of leading international documentary director Rudolph Herzog has just wrapped this week in Dublin.   Produced by Film and Music Entertainment the UK/Dublin-based production house, the company, along with world sales agent Bankside Films has just released the initial images from the film.

The production stars Jay Pharaoh, Katherine Parkinson and face of Chanel Lily Newmark.   Pharoah, the American actor, stand-up comedian, and musician plays rock star Harry Hope.  He most recently played ‘Nate Hoffman’ opposite Claire Foy in Steven Soderbergh’s ground breaking Berlinale entry Unsane, and will next be seen in Lionsgate/CodeBlack’s upcoming feature #Twominutesoffame.  He also starred as the lead of Showtime’s White Famous last year and was a cast member on NBC’s Saturday Night Live for six seasons beginning in 2010.

The film which is just starting pre-sales, has already sold to Lemontree in China, Front Row in the Middle East, and Praesens in Switzerand.

London 2018 – In a few days time, a  global charity concert is due to take place led by the vain and arrogant rock star, Harry Hope and his over-confident PR consultant, Kate. When notorious war monger, Boris the Butcher, decides to call a cease-fire four days before the big event, Kate knows that she absolutely has to make this event happen or her career will be over. She embarks on a mission to Georgia to create a fake news story letting the world know that the war is back on. Assisted by her naïve new intern, Peggy, the two quickly discover that they have taken on more than they can handle and as events spiral out of their control, all hell quickly breaks loose.

How to Sell a War is being handled in Cannes for  worldwide sales by UK sales outfit Bankside Films, and the production stars BAFTA winning Katherine Parkinson (Humans, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) in the leading role of Kate and co-stars up-and-coming Lily Newmark as naïve intern/niece Peggy whose five star performance in Pin Cushion scored her a BIFA nomination this year.

Other cast includes today include Daryl McCormack (Vikings) soon to be seen in Michael Grandage’s Lieutenant of Inishmore, Ali Cook (Lost in Karastan/Mr Selfridge), Volker Michalowski (Inglorious Basterds) and Samuel Vargu (Pit Stop Mafia/Elvis Walks Home.)

The film was developed by Creative England, Film and Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd, Finnish financing house IPR.VC and is being produced by Samantha Taylor and Mike Downey via their Dublin-based Film and Music Entertainment (IRE) and Kinomedia in Poland with key financing from the UK’s Quickfire and Helsinki-based IPR.VC.

This is a very funny take on the contemporary idea of Fake News! The shoot went really well in both Georgia and Dublin. There is huge screen value working in somewhere like Georgia with such vast wealth of talent supporting our director and his world class cast.  We are well underway with the edit now at Windmill Lane in Dublin and are on the final stretch. Mike Downey, Producer

Rudolph Herzog (director) is an award-winning director, producer and writer. RTS Award-nominated The Paedophile Next Door for Channel 4, is BBC/ARD documentary on humour in Hitler’s Third Reich sold widely internationally and his book Dead Funny on the same subject was named a book of the year by The Atlantic. He directed The Heist for channel Four and in 2014, a documentary based on his book A Short History of Nuclear Folly was broadcast in Europe. He helmed a National Geographic special on the mysterious death of polar explorer Roald Amundsen and The Agent on the double agent Werner Stiller who escaped East Germany and became a millionaire at Goldman Sachs. His latest best seller, Teruggestalten, has been picked up by Philipp Kreuzer’s Maze Pictures (The Happy Prince) for production.  He is the son of legendary German director Werner Herzog.

Written by Tim Price (Dr. Who; Secret Diary of a Call Girl) whose National Theatre sell-out production Occupy starred Rhys Ifans and whose The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning won the prestigious James Tait Black prize for drama) he has brought to life an idea by Raid Sabbah which is co-produced in association with Georgia’s 20 Steps Productions, and co-funded by Georgian National Film Centre and the tax credit scheme of Enterprise Georgia.

Fame has confirmed Sister Bliss to compose the score for the film.  As the musical force behind Faithless, world-renowned DJ and record producer Sister Bliss needs no introduction. Together with iconic front man Maxi Jazz and producer Rollo Armstrong (brother of Dido), she formed Faithless: one of the most successful electronic acts to date.  In their career spanning nearly 20 years, the group released 7 albums (two at number 1), six top 10 singles and sold in excess of 15 million records worldwide.

How To Sell a War is a Downey/Taylor production for Film and Music Entertainment (IRE) in co-production with 20 Steps Production and in association with Quickfire Films, Bankside Films, IPR.VC fund and the Georgian National Film Centre.  Developed in association with Creative England, Film and Music Entertainment (UK), and Kinomedia.  The film is produced by Sam Taylor and Mike Downey, co-producers are Vladimer Katcharava and Radoslaw Drabik and executive producers are James Atherton, Jan Pace, James Bierman and Aleksi Bardy.

The film is shot by legendary German cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger whose work with Herzog senior has included, Grizzly Man, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Rescue Dawn and Cave of Forgotten Dreams as well as Nicole Kidman starrer Queen of the Desert.  The film will be edited by Anne Sopel whose most recent work includes Whisky Galore as well as Mr Selfridge and The White Princess.

Filmed on location in in Georgia and Dublin, casting is handled in the UK by Vicky Wildman. Production services in Georgia have been supplied by Caucasian Film Service, post production services and investment will come from Dublin-based Windmill Lane, where the complete edit and all post will take place.  Local accounting services supplied by Grant Thornton and legal services on behalf of the producers by Mathesons.